John Guest Phillips Travelling Scholarship

Report from Alexander Mitrofanov
Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

The John Guest Phillips Travelling Scholarship allowed me to attend the 12th International Workshop "Computational Mechanics of Materials" on the 16/17 September 2002 in Darmstadt (Germany) and to visit the research laboratory of my colleague in Braunschweig (Germany).

Alexander near to his stand.The International Workshop "Computational Mechanics of Materials" is an annual event of considerable importance for researchers from all over the world, working in the areas, which include damage and fracture, composites, cyclic loading and fatigue, plastic flow and crystal plasticity as well as engineering applications. Previous workshops in the series were organised in Stuttgart, Lille, Hamburg, Vienna, Berlin and Freiberg. This year the conference gathered about 100 people from more than 23 countries, including USA, Germany, France, Canada, Austria, Russia and China. Two days of the conference were filled with very interesting presentations, leaving only few minutes for coffee breaks… The proceedings of the conference will be published in the well-known “Computational Materials Science” journal.

I was the only participant from the UK and the title of my presentation was “Finite element simulations of ultrasonically assisted machining”. In this presentation my co-authors and me are dealing with ultrasonically assisted cutting, which is the innovative technology of material processing, offering substantial advantages compared to the standard technology. A prototype of the ultrasonically assisted cutting device has been designed in the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University. And at the moment we are modelling this modern technological process numerically, using finite element method. We also utilise various experimental techniques, including high-speed filming of machining for various materials and microstructural and nanoindentation analyses of nickel-base alloy Inconel 718, machined with a standard and ultrasonically assisted technology.

My participation in the conference helped me to establish new research contacts with colleagues from different countries. Among these new contacts was Prof. Helmut Bohm from Technical University of Vienna, who was giving a very interesting lecture on the micromechanical studies of discontinuously reinforced composites. I also Conference participants. contacted young researchers from Germany, Poland and Russia, working in the areas directly connected with metal machining and ultrasonic applications. I am sure that these contacts will yield a lot of useful ideas and I hope to develop collaboration between our research groups. During the conference I had a very useful conversation with an engineer from Munich, who is utilising for three dimensional metal forming simulations the same finite element software, which I am using for the analysis of ultrasonic machining. As a result, I found out several useful details for my future numerical simulations. Last but not least, the participation at the conference and doing a presentation provided me with essential and very valuable experience of public presentations.

After the end of the conference I went to Braunschweig, which is a beautiful and quite big city near Hanover. In Braunschweig I visited my colleague, Dr. Martin Baeker (Institute of Materials, Technical University of Braunschweig), working in the same area of numerical modelling of metal cutting processes. Dr. Baeker is one of the leading scientists in the 6-year Germany-wide project dealing with numerical and experimental analyses of metal machining. Face-to-face discussions of state-of-the-art techniques, utilised for material cutting modelling, gave me a lot of new and useful ideas, which should significantly advance the numerical simulation part of my research. Comparison of used numerical schemes and an open exchange of ideas considerably improved my understanding of the challenging problem I deal with in my research.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Prizes Committee for awarding me the John Guest Phillips Travelling Scholarship, which made my trip to Germany possible, thus providing me with invaluable experience and stimulating the fast development of my research.

Secretary to Prizes Committee
October 2002
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